Youzhny brings Nadal closer to his ‘second’ title of the season.
Posted by tennisplanet on January 4, 2010
For rock people, Youzhny was on course to meet Nadal in the semis at Doha. Youzhny has been eliminated in straights in the opening freaking round.
Unless Davydenko (Federer’s semi opponent) bombs out too, Nadal must be hoping to have some kind of edge over Federer in the finals – the kind that appears to hit him the hardest: Physical.
At this point, what Nadal needs most are titles, irrespective of what tomato cans he has to mow down. The time for mowing down quality opponents is about to surface so out of a sudden that this is borrowed time for the Spainard to capitalize on.
Even though ‘Soderling’ win must have done it’s part to move Nadal along, it’s doubtful if Nadal would have had his way if Federer was across the net @ that Abu Dhabi final.
Translation: Nadal was able to bag a title without facing the big cat – comparatively. Nadal’s aim has to be to keep the big dogs away from him as much as possible so the hardware(s) can work its magic in restoring the imbalance between his OK ears.
Sure, he will have to face that instant shock of being thrown to the wolves all of a sudden, but at this point that’s not as big a consideration as posting Ws / titles even against relative tomato cans.
These wins / titles are able to cover Nadal’s psyche with an added layer of insulation – something he will need in abundance as he gets deeper in the season. Losses on hard court will not hurt as much if he has some titles to fall back on so early in the year.
Without this cushion, every loss, even against the big dogs will burrow in deeper and deeper into Nadal’s confidence to open up a potential relapse to last year.
Murray and Federer are in that boat too but they are carrying a much heavier coat of protection from last year compared to Nadal.